Independent As Fuck 3: 32 Essential Underground Hip Hop Releases From 1999


1999 should’ve signified that we were clearly into a brand new era following a short transition period after the close of the 2nd Golden Era which spanned from 1992 to 1996. Thing is, it was part of a new era… just not a golden one, a divergent one. I consider 1997–2002 to be something called the Backpack/Underground Era which existed simultaneously as the Jiggy Era, this odd occurrence made possible by the Rap Apartheid/Jim Crow system that had been in existence since 1997. By 1999, the growing divide had transformed into a chasm and after this year was over? Never the twain would meet again…


Several other notable 1999 releases that warranted mention but just barely missed this list include but aren’t limited to releases like “Process Of Elimination”, “Tags Of The Times 2.0”, “Defenders Of The Underworld”, “New York State Of Rhyme 2”, “Hip Hop Underground’s Finest The EP”, Sway & King Tech with DJ Revolution “This Or That”, Thirstin Howl III “Skillionaire”, Aesop Rock “Appleseed”, Rasco “The Birth EP”, Mathematik “Ecology”, Choclair “Ice Cold”, Rascalz “Global Warning”, Roots Manuva “Brand New Second Hand”, Defari “Focused Daily”, Group Home “A Tear For The Ghetto”, Visionaries “Sophomore Jinx”, Krispy “From The Country”, Superstar Quamallah “Don’t Call Me John EP”, Unspoken Heard “Jamboree EP”, Micranots “Farward EP”, Living Legends “Foxhole EP”, 7L & Esoteric “Speaking Real Words EP”, etc. in addition to turntablism albums/tapes by DJ Faust, DJ Logic, DJ Vadim, Ming & FS, El Stew, Ko-Wreck Technique (Push Button Objects x DJ Craze), Mr. Dibbs, DJ Disk, DJ T-Rock, DJ Q Bert, DJ Craze, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, DJ Shortee, DJ Z-Trip & Radar, Jeep Beat Collective, Mixmaster Mike & DJ Krush.

If you take the time to applaud for this article don’t even waste your time on anything less than 50 claps. Hold that fucking button down down until you see a “+50” pop up. I’m dead serious. I put in too many goddamn manhours of exhaustive research on this subject over the past almost 15 years for anything less than that. Listen to my podcast Dart Against Humanity and purchase my book Best Damn Hip Hop Writing: The Book Of Dart.



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Host of Dart Against Humanity/Boston Legends. CCO @ Producers I Know/journalist @ Okayplayer/DJBooth/Complex/NPR/Mass Appeal/IV Boston/HipHopWired/KillerBoomBox